Fiona Apple contributes new song “Container” to Showtime’s The Affair — listen

Singer/songwriter/musician Fiona Apple

Singer/songwriter/musician Fiona Apple

 

Fiona Apple has contributed a brand new song entitled “Container” to Showtime’s forthcoming original series The Affair. Produced by frequent collaborator, Blake Mills, the song will soundtrack the show’s main title sequence, which you can see and hear below.

In a statement, the show’s creator and executive producer Sarah Treem said, “Fiona Apple has been my favorite songwriter since I was 16. I am honored and humbled that she has chosen to lend her talent to our opening title sequence. If our show can approach one tenth of the depth and complexity of her song, I’ll be very happy.”

Starring Dominic West (aka “McNulty” from The Wire) and Ruth Wilson (Luther), The Affair “explores the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair, and will be told separately from the male and female perspectives,” according to a press release. It will premiere Sunday, October 12th at 10 p.m. ET.

We’re very happy to see Fiona back,  a beautiful human being.

Fiona, who canceled a run of dates last November to be with her dying dog, seemed giddy to be back on stage,”  When she sang, it was like nothing else in the world existed for her: just the song and the microphone, a relationship she has mastered. …

Fiona made light of past blow-ups: ‘People come see me to see the crash,’ she said early on, and fell to the floor in a knowing pratfall.” Stereogum corroborates the night’s generally wonderful nature, reporting that the crowd “cheered as Fiona bent her body into all manner of uncomfortable looking shapes, and shouted the occasional word of encouragement and love. But they otherwise they kept mum out of respect or a simple fear that they could frighten the fragile 36-year-old away at any moment.”

No more. Fiona is in great shape both physically and emotionally. A woman who is kind at heart and caring.

Welcome back Fiona!

 

Awesome Concert by Fiona Apple and Blake Mills at Chicago’s Bank of America Theater.

The genius of  Fiona Apple

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s a shame that a distraction by a bully in one audience ultimately steered attention away from what’s really noteworthy about Fiona Apple’s live performance on this current tour: how amazingly tight, yet spontaneous both she and the band is. Throughout the show, you feel like you’re watching a theatrical performance rather than a concert because the stage feels like a play’s set. You see a table set up with teacups before anyone enters. When the four band members do enter, the show starts with Apple and drummer Barbara Gruska writing “Teach me how to be free” on a chalkboard before the entire band launches into a new song, possibly called “Tipple”. And later, when Apple moves over to grand piano and Mills launches into his “Curable Disease”, Gruska and bassist Sebastian Steinberg are no longer needed. So they clink whatever they’re drinking on stage, sit, and watch.

Indeed, it was this interplay between playful spontaneity and precision that defined Apple and tour partner Blake Mills’ show last night at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre. Gruska’s drums, Mills’ incredible guitar work, and Steinberg’s jazzy upright bass playing provided an extra oomph to songs like “Every Single Night” and “Regret” from last year’s instant classic and Top Star-earning The Idler Wheel…. While sometimes, it was the little things, perhaps unplanned, that added just the right tone to a song, like when the microphone picked up Apple tapping her drumsticks against her neck various times throughout the show, creating faint, yet still discernible percussive elements to songs that already sported unconventional percussion.

Meanwhile, the same playful, bordering on “just fucking with you” (something Mills actually said last night) attitude characterized Mills’ otherwise in-control guitar work throughout the set. Whether on Apple’s songs or on his own, Mills, seemingly a run of the mill Americana singer/songwriter, is actually an innovative guitarist with a sense of humor. During the band’s cover of Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe”, the guitarist was able to emulate the tones of a theremin, while during the outro of his and Apple’s duet “Seven”, he repeated the same guitar riff at increasingly lower volume until it delved into silence. Then, he perked up and said, “The song was over three minutes ago.”

Most importantly, last night, it was obvious that the audience was conscious of the meltdowns that have plagued Apple’s recent shows because audience members were only shouting out words of encouragement and positivity. From “We love you Fiona!” to “You look great!”, the audience’s role as a sort of safety net gave Apple room to even joke (!) about her past on-stage troubles. “How am I supposed to have my meltdown? I don’t do Twitter,” Apple quipped at one point after warning all “assholes” to stay away.

Most importantly, last night, it was obvious that the audience was conscious of the meltdowns that have plagued Apple’s recent shows because audience members were only shouting out words of encouragement and positivity. From “We love you Fiona!” to “You look great!”, the audience’s role as a sort of safety net gave Apple room to even joke (!) about her past on-stage troubles. “How am I supposed to have my meltdown? I don’t do Twitter,” Apple quipped at one point after warning all “assholes” to stay away.

While her self-awareness and sense of humor shone through, perhaps the best way to take in her performance, however, was to simply sit idly by and allow yourself to be captivated and even intimidated by her physical voice and her agency. Because when Apple sings “I ran out of white dove feathers/ To soak up the hot piss that comes from your mouth,” she could be talking about anybody in her past or present, any given audience member. Maybe even you.

Photography by Katie Schuering.

Fiona Apple Breaks Down After Being Heckled Over Her Appearance

American singer/songwriter Fiona Apple

American singer/songwriter Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her debut album, Tidal, was released in 1996 and received a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance (with an additional six nominations) for the single “Criminal”. Subsequent albums include: When the Pawn (1999), Extraordinary Machine (2005), and The Idler Wheel (2012).

Fiona’s vocal range is contralto. Her musical style contains elements of jazz and alternative rock. Fiona cancelled a tour after her dog was diagnosed cancer. She wrote a letter to her fans apologizing for cancelling the tour that was published online. We love you Fiona.

About the incident during a concert in Portland, Ore

During a concert in Portland, Ore. on Thursday night, Fiona Apple was heckled by a fan toward the end of her set, and reportedly broke down while performing her final song.

According to Stereogum, Apple — who is touring with Blake Mills — was chided by the unnamed attendee (a woman) because of her appearance.

After close to 90 minutes of Apple and Mills trading off songs and, as they put it, “working sh-t out,” someone in the first balcony yelled out, “Fiona! Get healthy! We want to see you in 10 years!”

Apple, understandably, looked aghast, then hurt, then furious. She unleashed a torrent of vitriol at the unseen member of the peanut gallery. “I am healthy! Who the f-ck do you think you are? I want you to get the f-ck out of here. I want the house lights on so I watch you leave!”

That might have been the end of it — the house lights did come on, and the shouter did eventually depart — but the anonymous commenter decided to get one last shot in: “I saw you 20 years ago and you were beautiful!”

The balance of the evening was already a delicate one. The restraint of the audience at the Newmark Theater as they watched the manic glee of Fiona Apple in performance mode was palpable.

Yes, they laughed at her strange stage banter (after one particularly sexy duet with tour mate Blake Mills, she exclaimed, “See, Christians? You can still have a good time and keep your virginity without butt sex.”), cheered as she bent her body into all manner of uncomfortable looking shapes, and shouted the occasional word of encouragement and love. But they otherwise they kept mum out of respect or a simple fear that they could frighten the fragile 36-year-old away at any moment.

Then someone had to go and upend everything.

There was no coming back from that. Apple insisted she was done, spat her frustration into the microphone, and fought back tears. She pulled it together enough to perform an understandably intense version of “Waltz (Better Than Fine)” that she sang through sobs. But the wellspring of feelings burst forth again. She raged, empathized, apologized, and departed. Show over.

One point that Apple made as she attempted to maintain control was that the person who lit the fuse ostensibly meant well. And truth be told, the voice wasn’t alone in her feelings. I, too, worried over Apple’s health when she first appeared. She looked gaunt and wild-eyed. Between songs, she would walk around uncertainly, sometimes confused. Then she would make odd moves like bending backwards over her piano bench or flopping dramatically on the stage.

But once she settled behind a microphone and got swept away by Mills’ stellar guitar work, my worry melted away. Apple was in great voice throughout, stirring up the deep emotional core of songs like “Every Single Night,” “Left Alone,” and Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe.” And it was obvious that she was delighting in presenting, as Mills put it, “familiar songs in an unfamiliar way.”

Backed by bassist Sebastian Steinberg and drummer Amy Wood, she and Mills added some notes of fury to “Regret,” and turned “Anything We Want” into a minimalist epic. Apple even seemed to relish in taking a supporting role as well, backing up Mills’ originals on piano or pounding on a field drum with her fist.

Apple looked happiest though when she could simply stand back and watch Mills play. Can’t say as I blame her on that front. The 27-year-old was a sight to behold, fluidly handling both lead and rhythm parts (occasionally at the same time) while also moving all over the fretboard to add some deliciously indelicate noise into the mix.

It’s a shame then that the show is going to forever be colored by its last awful 10 minutes. And considering that the Portland date was the first of a fall tour with Mills and company, there’s a slight concern that the experience will send Apple into hiding for a while. Or, at the very least, that this show will inspire her to skip Stumptown on her next round of promotional dates. Hopefully, the words she will remember most are the ones coming from members of the audience that urged her to not let one bastard get her down.

Fiona Apple Talks to Audience About Her Drug Arrest

“Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

Singer alludes to ‘inappropriate’ behavior by authorities

By Rolling Stone

35 yr-old Fiona Apple performs at The Greek Theatre on September 14th, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

At a concert in Houston two days after her drug arrest, Fiona Apple opened up to her audience about the experience while alluding obscurely to some kind of wrongdoing by people involved in the arrest.

Apple was busted on Wednesday in the border town of Sierra Blanca, Texas, when police found hash and marijuana in her tour bus during a search. She was held briefly at the Hudspeth County Jail.

The singer started out by apologizing to “the guy who runs the jail,” for being “atittudey.” She then went on to call out four others for some kind of behavior that she calls “inappropriate” and “probably illegal.”

“And I want you to know that I heard everything you did,” Apple said onstage. “I wrote it all down with your names and everything you did and said, stupidly thinking that I couldn’t hear or see you. I then ripped the paper up, but not before I encoded it and – I got two lock boxes. We’ll call them ‘holding cell one’ and ‘holding cell two.’ In ‘holding cell one’ is the encoded version of the shit that you did that I know was inappropriate and probably illegal. In ‘holding cell two’ is the decoder. I’m the only one who holds the key, and you and I will be intimate forever because I will hold that secret forever. Unless of course the celebrity that you had so much interest in but you wanted to accuse me of bringing up while you laughed at me all night? Unless you’re interested in being a celebrity, I’ll make you fucking famous any time you ask and I’ll open those boxes. So why don’t you stay in your fucking holding cell?”